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KC's Corner

Legislative Watch - 2017

Fri, January 13, 2017

Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again when the politicians are back in session… and sportsmen’s eyes turn towards the capitol city to see what kind of nonsense (for the most part) is being introduced that will impact hunting.  Over the next couple of weeks, thousands of new bills will be filed, hoping to make their way through the legislative process (reminds me of the old “Schoolhouse Rock” cartoon about the process, which some young guys may have to Google).

This is a particularly bad time since we have a new general assembly (GA).  GA sessions last for 2 years (on the election cycle), so bills can linger out there a while.  But we start this week with a clean slate… back to bill #1 in each house.  And it also means new legislators, and politicians running unpopular bills without an election year cloud hanging over their heads.

Like usual, I’ll do my best to keep up with what I can.  Politicians have a way of back-dooring legislation, or keeping their true intent hidden when running bills.  That being said, I won’t be posting every gun bill that gets introduced.  That would be a full-time job by itself.  If a gun bill could impact hunting, I’ll try to get it posted.

Without getting TOO political, we’re not off to a great start this week.  The House, again, elected Rep. Mike Madigan as Speaker… a position he’s held for all but 2 years since 1983.  Senator Cullerton takes the reins again as President of the Senate… a position he’s held since 2009.  Republicans don’t fare much better… electing Senator Rodogno as Senate Rep. Leader and Rep. Durkin as House Minority Leader.  They’ve both been in those positions since 2013.

Only in IL can we complain so much about IL politics, and then turn around and keep putting the same people back in power and expect different results!

So, without further ado… off we go…

I always like to start the year off with legislation that is so important to the state that it simply HAS to be introduced in the first few days of session.  It’s never hunting related (couple sessions ago it was medical cannabis), but these bills have the potential to be life-altering for us all… and an absolute priority #1 for our Springfield elected officials.  This year is no different…

Introduced by Sen. Emil Jones, III, (D) Chicago
Synopsis As Introduced

Amends the State Commemorative Dates Act. Provides that August 4th of each year is designated as Barack Obama Day.

Just to be safe, the House has their own version of this bill (HB0231, Rep. Andre Thapedi, (D) Chicago) doing the same thing.  It gets more specific to amend specific codes to make it a state holiday for schools and banks (among other areas).  Don’t we already have a “President’s Day”???

Now on to the good(?) stuff…

Introduced by Sen. Ira Silverstein, (D) Chicago
Synopsis As Introduced

Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that on and after the effective date of the amendatory Act, each applicant for the issuance or renewal of a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card shall include a full set of his or her fingerprints in electronic format to the Department of State Police for the purpose of identity verification. Amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. Provides that a license application shall contain a full set of fingerprints submitted to the Department in electronic format for the purpose of verification of identity (rather than a license application shall contain a full set of fingerprints submitted to the Department in electronic format provided the Department may accept an application submitted without a set of fingerprints in which case the Department shall be granted 30 days in addition to the 90 days period to issue or deny a license).

Now they want your fingerprints just to own (or possess) a gun in our great state?!?!?

Introduced by Rep. David Reis, (R) Olney
Synopsis As Introduced

Amends the Wildlife Code. Provides that a person with a valid concealed carry license issued under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, or an off-duty law enforcement official or officer, may carry a handgun on or about his or her person while hunting. Effective immediately.

Introduced by Rep. Avery Bourne, (R) Litchfield
Synopsis As Introduced

Amends the Wildlife Code. Provides that all crossbows used to hunt in this State must have a minimum peak draw weight of 125 pounds and a maximum draw weight of at least 300 pounds.

Stay tuned… I’m sure there will be much more to come!


Kevin, you have taken on a dirty job, but one that I feel is very important to the overall health of sportsmen/women & the resources within our state. Not a lot of fun in dissecting legislative language, thanks for taking the time to do it.


Posted by Ringtailtrapper on January 13

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